Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lift-Off: A Morning At Middle Creek WMA

With perfect weather in the forecast and the PGC website reporting that a large number of snow geese were still at Middle Creek WMA, it was not a difficult decision to make the 100+ mile drive on Wednesday morning.  I arrived as the first hint of morning brightened the eastern sky and Middle Creek Lake was alive with the sounds of snow geese, tundra swans, and other waterfowl.  It was still too early for photographs or video when I arrived, but one could see the indistinct, shadowy shapes of vast numbers of waterfowl.

There was enough light by 6:00a.m. to take photographs at high ISO, but the shutter speeds were still very low.

Middle Creek Dawn: Canon 7D-Canon 300mm F2.8  ISO 1250 1/40 F2.8
Shortly after 6:10 a.m. a large number of the snow geese erupted from the lake.  Some left, but most circled several times and then settled back down to the lake surface.  It was still too dark to use as high of a shutter speed as I would have liked, but there was nothing to do other than make the best of the opportunity.

Lift-Off: Canon 7D-Canon 500mm F4 ISO 800 1/80 sec. F4
There was much more light was by 6:28 a.m. when there was another massive eruption of snow geese from the lake and this time all of them left.  I concentrated on video at the start of the action, but then switched to the 7D and still photographs as the birds flew directly toward me.

Snow Geese Approaching: Canon 7D-Canon 500mm F4 ISO 400 1/400 sec. F4

Snow Geese At Long Range: Canon 7D-Canon 500mm F4 ISO 400 1/1000 sec. F5

Once the lake emptied out, it was time to turn to the pothole just across the road for duck and Canada Geese photography, but that is a story for another day.

Originally posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.


Ruth's Photo Blog said...

That must be a noisy event,with so many geese lifting off at once. Amazing pictures.

Carletta said...

Love the sunrise reflecting off the lake around the geese.
Nice formation in your last shot with sun on them.

Thanks for visiting my turkey post. Their numbers this year are way above what I normally see.

PaWingers said...

Really enjoyed the write up Willard. I felt like I was there but sadly I wasn't. We saw a lot of Swans this weekend but no Snow Geese.

Altax said...

Excellent shots and wonderful pictures.

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